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Legend has it that there once was a secretly wealthy Tennessee hermit who decided to throw his own funeral so that he could hear the stories people had to tell about him. In this beautifully acted 1930s period piece from director Aaron Schneider, Robert Duvall is the hermit, Sissy Spacek his old flame, and Bill Murray the town's newly energized funeral director.
The Girl Who Played With Fire
For the second film in the Stieg Larsson "Millennium Trilogy" (the first was The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo), Michael Nyqvist and Noomi Rapace return as a financial journalist and a tattooed hacker, respectively, who are once again up to their necks in murder and intrigue.
Some of the world's filmmaking iconoclasts — Bernardo Bertolucci, David Lynch and Agnès Varda among them — discuss their methods and madness in this documentary by Angela Ismailos.
I Am Love
In this extravagantly romantic film from writer-director Luca Guadagnino, the ever-fierce Tilda Swinton plays a Russian who married into a powerful Italian family when she was young. Nearing middle age, she's happy, she thinks, until she begins an affair that will either save her life or destroy it.
I Killed My Mother
French-Canadian writer-director Xavier Dolan, 20, not only makes his feature debut but also stars in this drama about a 16-year-old gay teen's battles with his mother.
Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work
Co-directors Ricki Stern and Anne Sundberg track the indefatigable comic over the course of a recent year, in a documentary that festival audiences expected to disdain and ended up loving. At age 76, Joan has buzz.
The Kids Are All Right
Julianne Moore and Annette Bening play a Southern California lesbian couple with two teenagers they had with the sperm of an anonymous donor. When the kids track down their biological father (Mark Ruffalo), the mothers are more than a little freaked. Written and directed by Lisa Cholodenko (Laurel Canyon).
Let It Rain
Veteran French actor-filmmaker Agnès Jaoui (The Taste of Others) stars as a feminist writer who returns to her childhood home and finds herself embroiled in a comic roundelay of romance, sibling rivalry and political intrigue.
Life During Wartime
It's been 12 years since writer-director Todd Solondz's hilarious yet emotionally wrenching suburban black comedy Happiness. In this sequel, the filmmaker catches up with the original characters but has recast all the roles, as if to acknowledge that neither he nor his characters can possibly be the same people more than a decade later.
Mao's Last Dancer
From director Bruce Beresford (Driving Miss Daisy), the true story of the Chinese-born ballet dancer Li Cunxin, who was sent to dance with the Houston Ballet as part of a 1970s cultural-exchange program. Li eventually married an American, sparking an international tussle between the two countries. Bruce Greenwood, Kyle MacLachlan and Chi Cao star.
Mesrine: Killer Instinct
In what's sure to be one of the great roles of his career, Vincent Cassel (Eastern Promises) plays the legendary French gangster Jacques Mesrine, who both charmed and terrorized the nation in the 1970s. This is the first of a two-part epic from director Jean-François Richet.
In this fact-based drama, set in the late 1990s, Luke Wilson stars as a fixer of troubled businesses who meets two guys (Giovanni Ribisi and Gabriel Macht) who have figured out a way to transmit pornography over the Internet. Wilson helps them get organized and super-rich, and then the real trouble begins. Co-starring James Caan and directed by George Gallo.